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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE  OF KESAVA DEVA, 1669  A.D.         37
executed.* A few months earlier, in February of the same year, during tho
fast of Bamazan, the time when religious bigotry would be most inflamed,
Aurangzeb had descended in person on Mathuni. The temple specially
marked out for destruction was one built so recently as the reign of Jahangir,
at a cost of thirty-three lakhs, by BirSinli Deva, Bundehi, of ITrcha. Beyond all
doubt this was the last of the famous shrines of Kesava Deva, of which further
mention will be made hereafter. To judge from the language of the author of
the Masisir, its demolition was regarded as a death-blow to Hinduism. He
writes in the following triumphant strain :u In a short time, with the help of
numerous workmen, this seat of error was utterly broken down. Grlory be to
God that so difficult an undertaking has been successfully accomplished in the
present auspicious reign, wherein so many dens of heathenism and idolatry
hare been destroyed! Seeing the power of Islam and the efficacy of true
religion, the proud Bajas felt cheir breath burning in their throats and became
as dumb as a picture on a wall. The idols, large and small alike, all adorned
with costly jewels, were carried away from the heathen shrine and taken to
Agra, where they were buried under the steps of Nawab Kudsia Begam's
mosque, so that people might trample upon them for ever." It was from this
event that Mathiira was called Islamabad.
In;1707 Auiangzeb died, and shortly after began the rule of the Jata
of Bharat-pur.
The founder of this royal house was a robber chief, by name CMra-mani,
who built two petty forts in the villages of Thtm and Sinsini,t a little south of
Big, from which he organized marauding expeditions, and even ventured to
harass the rear of the imperial army on the occasion of AurangzeVs expedition
to the Dakhin. This statement is contradicted by Thornton in his Gazetteer,
under the word Bharat-pur ; but lus reasons for doing so are not very conclu-
sive. He writes:" Chura-mani did not become the leader of the Jats until after
the death of Aurangzeb. Besides, the scene of the operations of the Jats was
widely remote from that of the disasters of Aurangzeb, which occurred near
Ahmad-nagar. According to the Sair-i-Muta-akhkhirin, during the struggle
between Aurangzeb's sons, 'Azam and Huazzim, Chur4-maiii beset the camp of
tke latter for the purpose of plunder." This correction, if it really is one, is so
slight as to be absolutely immaterial; the army, which was led into the Dakhin
* His son and daughter were both brought up as Muhammadana, and eventually the gi*i
summed Shah Kuli, and the boy, who had received the name of Fizil, became famous for his skill
in reciting the Kuran.
, f From thii place the Bharat-jro R&ji'a family derlTes iti name of Sinsixnray,
10